Finished Article

Finished Article

With the choice of featured image combined with post title I’m sure this will generate some site traffic (if not a few complaints!), but this isn’t an account of the activities of a serial killer (and the extra site traffic disappears) but all about how I made a bushcraft knife for my wife as an anniversary gift.

This might seem an odd gift but bear with me; we have been married for 5 years which traditionally is a wood anniversary plus Kelly wanted a bushcraft knife of her own (after we shared one for our trip last June) so I decided it would be a great idea to make her a knife with a wooden handle for use in the woods! OK, so maybe a little weak, and kind-of based on a pun….

Anyway this isn’t about my probably forthcoming divorce but all about making a knife. Please note I am not an expert, as can be seen from the associated gallery (bottom of this page), plus this is a very dangerous DIY activity (which can also be seen from the photos).

All ready to go!

All ready to go in a presentation box (incense burner) with a presentation bottle (ex-whiskey) of linseed oil (to look after the handle)

There are lots of kits available on the market, plus several small companies and independent knife-smiths you can go to. Going to a knife-smith means that things won’t be as straightforward as they are in this post but the process will be similar.

I chose to go for a kit because I’d never made a knife before, and I chose a carbon steel blade as the one think Kelly loves more than anything (with a knife) is lighting fires with a Swedish firesteel (also known as a Ferro Rod). A stainless steel blade could of course be used with a firesteel, but it means that should she wish one day to learn now to use a traditional flint she won’t be able to use the knife. There are lots of other good reasons for choosing carbon over stainless (and I welcome a debate on it via comments hint hint) but that is the reason specific to my wife.

I originally wanted a Damascus blade as well, purely to make this knife a very special gift, but I discovered that those manufacturers who made a Damascus blade within my budget simply took a standard blade and dipped it in acid to give the distinctive pattern, and over time this pattern could wear off. In the end I decided to go for a standard Carbon steel knife blank and use Scandinavian curly birch for the handle as it looks incredible and is easy to maintain.

I bought my kit from Springfields, who sold it as a Casström product but it came in a box that said Karesuando. I’m guessing that this has something to do with a complex import and distribution route, anyway somewhere between Sweden and me the instructions were swapped out for a Casström led translation, the sheath kit was changed for one that didn’t match the instructions and a few DIY accessories which were not in the instructions (and which I can’t talk about until after Christmas) were added. Despite all that it came with all the necessary bits and it was pretty easy to follow the instructions and make a knife I am very proud of, and I hope my wife loves!

The gallery below shows the major steps I followed to make the knife. The handle is made of both Curly Birch and Reindeer Antler (the brown round bit in the early photos).